Styles ebb and flow with the change of each season. Pixie cuts change to braids. Peasant skirts change to hippie dresses. Bleach turns to ombre. With the continual shift in style comes the ongoing expense to maintain the wardrobe you want. Simply put, the cost of fashion is high.
Or is it?
According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the average US family spent $1,786 on clothes in 2014. Style or no style. Would you bet that you could incorporate a whole lot more zest into a wardrobe budget of that size without breaking your bank account? You certainly could. Here are four tips on how to get the wardrobe you want for less:
1. Buy a few key neutral pieces. You don’t need 12 pairs of jeans to be a fashionista. Buy two well-fitting pairs of dark wash jeans. No distressing, fades or gems. Tailor one pair to fit with high heels and the other to fit with flats. Splash color into your outfit by wearing a bright top, bold purse or hot pink Chucks. Let your neutrals be the canvas upon which you build.
2. Mix & match your current wardrobe. Don’t pack up those dresses from summer quite yet! Modern fashion is all about the juxtaposition of styles, reinventing itself in fresh and exciting ways. Take that day dress you wore with wedge heels, add some leggings, switch to embellished combat boots and a boyfriend cardigan. Voilà. Welcome to fall.
3. Head to the summer clearance rack. With fall and winter come the seasons of layers. Your budget might be screaming, “Only sweatpants and turtle necks for you!” but don’t listen. Stores need to move merchandise out to make room for the next season. Get in on that discount action and get yourself some stylish attire that can be layered for colder weather on a dime.
4. Cut out the impulse shopping. OK, so this is the least sexy of all the options, but it is by far the most important. Did you know that according to CNN Money, 76% of Americans are living paycheck to paycheck? So you want a killer wardrobe? It is totally achievable, but start budgeting for it now. Open a second checking account at your bank and call it your clothing fund. Start researching your favorite stores to see what’s on clearance. Ask your Facebook friends to share their greatest discount shopping success stories.
You can feel great in your wardrobe for less than you think; however, you have to plan ahead, do the research, shop smart, and be intentional. After that, a more fabulous wardrobe is just around the corner.